• Visit Greece ( Greece’s official tourism portal.
  • Explore Crete ( Good general travel site.
  • Interkriti ( Comprehensive guide to the island.
  • OpenSeas ( Ferry timetables.
  • Crete Region ( Official government site.
  • Lonely Planet ( Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Top Tips

  • If at all possible, visit in the shoulder seasons – late spring or early autumn. The weather is softer and the crowds are slim.
  • Be sure to visit a few out-of-the-way villages where you can still find full-on, unselfconscious traditional culture. The best way to do this is to rent a car, buy a good map, and explore. Stop for lunch, check out the local shops and test out your Greek.
  • Visit at least one local kafeneio (coffee house), one seafood taverna on the waterfront, and one traditional live-music venue. This is where you’ll experience Cretan culture at its most potent.

What to Take

  • Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
  • Money belt
  • Credit and debit cards
  • Driver’s licence/international driver’s licence
  • Phrasebook
  • Diving qualifications
  • Phone for local SIM & charger
  • Mainland European power adapter
  • Lock/padlock
  • Seasickness remedies
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Lightweight raincoat
  • Swimwear, snorkel and fins
  • Clothes pegs and laundry line
  • Earplugs
  • A hollow leg – for all that raki

What to Wear

Crete is casual. Locals wear simple but respectfully covered-up clothes. In summer, the heat will make you want to run naked; instead bring quick-drying tops and cool dresses. Bars or fashionable restaurants require more effort – the scene is stylish rather than dressy. Don’t wear swimsuits into shops and tavernas without a cover-up. Cretans take their churches seriously: don’t go inside wearing hats, tank tops, short shorts or miniskirts. Sturdy walking shoes are a must for treks. Cretans will not go nude on beaches; you’ll see some Europeans do it, but it pays to be respectful of locals and therefore discreet.

Pre-departure Checklist

  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.
  • Make bookings for accommodation and travel.
  • Check airline baggage restrictions, especially for regional flights.
  • Inform your credit/debit card company of your travel plans.
  • Organise travel insurance.
  • Check if you’ll be able to use your mobile (cell) phone.